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Pending Construction Permits for Full-power Analog Stations Deleted

Last Friday the FCC released Order DA 11-1697, dismissing over 50 pending applications for new full-power analog TV stations and pending Petitions for Reconsideration of previous dismissals or denials for new analog television station applications. The "Analog Proceeding applicants" initiated their proceedings in 1996. In many of the markets there are multiple applications from different applicants for the same channel. The FCC said, "Our action here follows naturally from years of prior notices that the analog service would be terminated." "In addition to knowing that only digital operations would be allowed past the termination date, the Analog Proceeding applicants knew that they would not be issued an initial companion digital allotment."

The FCC attempted to provide these applications with digital facilities, first in 1998, allowing the 1996 Analog Applications granted a construction permit after April 3, 1997 to construct digital facilities on their analog channels immediately, or convert to digital service at a later date prior to the transition. The final draft DTV Table of Allotments proposed in 2006 included allotments for "several dozen" of the 1996 Applications that were not eligible for a paired channel in the initial DTV Table. The analog applications dismissed in this Order represent 1996 Analog Applicants who did not secure a construction permit before the June 2009 analog shutdown.

Because the FCC is now statutorily-prohibited from granting the analog authorizations sought by the remaining analog applicants, the Commission dismissed them.